The Next Generation Fuel Cell Stack released in 2011
Fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are another type of zero-emission vehicle producing no CO2 or other emissions. FCEVs are the obvious next step to complement today's battery electric vehicles as our industry embraces more sustainable transportation. Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, they emit only water during driving. Our FCEVs make use of the lithium-ion batteries and high-power electric systems re fined in our EV development, as well as the control systems from our hybrid vehicles and the high-pressure gas storage technologies from our compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG Vs). In January 2011, Nissan announced efforts with 12 other companies to launch FCEVs and to develop the hydrogen supply infrastructure in Japan. Development is now progressing toward achieving these goals within this decade.
In October 2011, we released our Next Generation F uel Cell Stack for FCEVs. This model features improvements to the membrane electrode assembly making up the fuel cells and to the separator flow channel, giving a power density 2.5 times greater than the 2005 model and, at 2.5 kW per liter, the best in the world among auto manufacturers according to our calculations. The use of platinum and the variation of parts have both been reduced to a quarter of the levels of the 2005 model, and the siz e has been substantially reduced to less than half that of existing models. With these improvements, we have reduced the cost of the new fuel cell stack to one sixth that of the 2005 model.
In January 2013, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., under the Alliance with Renault, have signed a unique three-way agreement for the joint development of common fuel cell system. The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common FCEV system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology, and deriving efficiencies through economies of scale, and will help to launch the world's first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.
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The Nissan TeRRA SUV concept was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
The Nissan TeRRA SUV concept
TeRRA is purely a concept car, but it signals that Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.
Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts. Under the hood is ample space for Nissan's proprietary hydrogen fuel cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading power density of 2.5kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.
The History of Nissan's Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Development
Earnest development of FCEVs is still in its infancy; even on a worldwide basis, the technology is less than two decades old. Nissan's initial foray into the full-scale development of FCEV technology came in 2001 with an investment in a five-year, ¥85 billion joint development project with our Alliance partner Renault.
|August 2008||Nissan announces the development of a next-generation fuel-cell stack with double the power density of conventional technology.||
Nissan's next-generation fuel-cell stack
|February 2006||Road testing begins in Canada.
Test runs are initiated on an X-Trail FCEV equipped with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder.
2005 X-Trail FCEV equipped with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder
|December 2005||Nissan unveils the 2005 X-Trail FCEV equipped with the company's newly developed fuel-cell stack.
Nissan develops an X-Trail FCEV with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder.
|December 2003||A limited number of X-Trail FCEV 03s are made available for lease. FCEV 03s are delivered to Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd., in March 2004, and to the Kanagawa prefectural government and the Yokohama city government in April 2004.||
High-pressure hydrogen-powered 2003 X-Trail FCEV
|December 2002||Nissan begins road testing the Xterra FCEV in Japan.
Road testing of the high-pressure hydrogen-powered X-Trail FCEV begins in Japan after approval is received from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
High-pressure hydrogen-powered 2002 X-Trail FCEV
|April 2001||Public road testing begins in North America.
Nissan begins a five-year, ¥85 billion joint development project with Renault.
Road tests are conducted on the Xterra FCEV in Sacramento, California.
High-pressure hydrogen-powered Xterra FCEV
|March 2000||Nissan participates in the California
Fuel-Cell Partnership (CaFCP).
|May 1999||Vehicle testing begins.
Nissan test drives the R'nessa, an FCEV equipped with a methanol reforming fuel cell.
|1996||Nissan begins developing FCEV technology.|
Nissan pioneers fuel-cell limo
In February 2007, we delivered the latest X-Trail FCEV to Kanagawa Toshi Kotsu Ltd. for use in their chauffer-driven hired-car fleet. This was the first time fuel cell electric vehicles were made available for hired-car services anywhere in the world.
X-Trail FCEV used as a hired car